Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Dawkins and his crew of famously opinionated "serious" people are all very well. I don't necessarily agree with their reasons for trashing religion, any more than I recognise my own atheism in the aunt sallies as described by religionists when they seek to group a disparate group of non-believers together in order to make generalisations about the nature of "non-belief".


However, I suspect that underlying this is a dislike of the almost frothing-at-the-mouth intellectual passion bordering on hatred expended against religion : To a greater extent it's a fair criticism, but please bear in mind atheists didn't start this.

Despite some of the dafter paranoias from the religious, Dawkins et al threaten nobody's belief system. They may think it's daft, but they have no intention to legislate against it. They have no intention of passing any law denying any religious person their rights, even those who would allow themselves or their children to die for such beliefs. They do not enforce codes of thought, behaviour, dress, sexual behaviour, who to love, what artistic expression they may indulge, what theatre they may see.

none of this is in the atheist ambition.

But atheist's freedoms to not have our lives constrained by the beliefs of others is threatened by religionists. They would interfere in all of those things I describe. You know this.

And for years, decades even there has been a quiet agreement; we won't bother you, you don't bother us. A covenant that has broken down. We watch with increasing concern as deliberate ignorance stalks the USA, encroaching ever deeper into its sinews. Yes, reason wins a victory here or there, but the constricting effort continues and the slow ratchet of superstition grows tighter and tighter. So, when we see it here in the UK, or with other outbreaks across europe, it is no exaggeration to say we know this is no isolated outburst.

And so there is push back. Some of it is intemperate, yes, but we didn't start this. All they have to do is stop and the problem will go away. But they won't, becasue christianity is a proselytising religion and must always push against its bounds. And that means that those of us who do not accept its cage must do allwe can to protect ourselves and our very form of secular government by shouting against this unreason from the rooftops.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 01:29:04 PM EST

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